Blood cancers are common genetic diseases, but not in the sense that they’re conditions you inherit from your parents. Rather, blood cancers are caused by the genes.
Genes that suddenly decide to switch off or send confused messages to the cells that they control.
Blood cancers – leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma – combined, are the third highest cause of death from cancer in Australia. Many adult and some childhood blood cancers are still unable to be successfully treated and regrettably, Australia is leading the world in the growth of new diagnoses.
Unlike other cancers, routine screening and public health awareness campaigns won’t reduce anyone’s risk of developing a blood cancer.
Blood cancers don’t discriminate and men, women and children are affected equally.
Whilst Australian patients diagnosed with myeloma and many diagnosed with some types of leukaemia may go into remission, devastatingly, relapse is inevitable with the current treatments.
There is an urgent need to find new treatments and seek a greater understanding of blood cancers.